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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 6. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 111
Author
OT - new carbon tax
maxdacat
25/02/2011
1:06:33 PM
My initial thoughts are wtf?

- buinesses that pollute will pass the tax on to their customers
- low income earners will get "help" paying their bills
- those who can afford to will continue with the status quo
- money raised from the tax will go towards administering it

net result - somewhere between jack sh*t and bugger all.

My main point of reference is that a) carbon emissions fell during the GFC which tells us that to reduce emissions you need to similarly reduce economic growth. b) if you want people to buy less of something (ie carbon based energy) you need to increase the price (subject to elasticity), so how is reimbursing people for price increases supposed to reduce consumption.

nmonteith
25/02/2011
1:22:47 PM
People seem to forget that the whole purpose of this tax is not to make money for the government - but to reduce consumption. It will make you think twice about buying a V8 when a 4 cylinder diesel would do the same job. It will make you think about building a house with natural ventilation rather than relying on air conditioning. Solar hot water instead of gas heating. Just reduce your consumption and you won't be spending any more money. Easy as.

nmonteith
25/02/2011
1:25:47 PM

nmonteith
25/02/2011
1:29:32 PM
On 25/02/2011 maxdacat wrote:
>so how is reimbursing people for price increases supposed to reduce consumption.

I think this is all just political dilly dallying to appease people who 'just don't get it".
Philtown
25/02/2011
1:34:39 PM
On 25/02/2011 maxdacat wrote:
>My initial thoughts are wtf?
>
>- buinesses that pollute will pass the tax on to their customers
>- low income earners will get "help" paying their bills
>- those who can afford to will continue with the status quo
>- money raised from the tax will go towards administering it
>
>net result - somewhere between jack sh*t and bugger all.
>
>My main point of reference is that a) carbon emissions fell during the
>GFC which tells us that to reduce emissions you need to similarly reduce
>economic growth. b) if you want people to buy less of something (ie carbon
>based energy) you need to increase the price (subject to elasticity), so
>how is reimbursing people for price increases supposed to reduce consumption.

You answered your own question. Low income earners get assistance, not everyone.
You're right that 'those who can afford to will continue with the status quo', but most people won't be able to. That's the whole point of a price signal.

The Garnaut review was to figure out how much the price hikes would encourage people to change their behaviour (economics, not science). And he reckons pretty effectively. Prices will go up proportionally more depending on how carbon intensive the industry is, so there's an economic incentive for people to reduce their consumption of the areas that emit the most.
Philtown
25/02/2011
1:37:05 PM
One last thing - prices will go up across the board, since carbon emissions are a component of pretty much everything. The idea with the $ handback is to minimise the amount that everything/everybody gets affected.

Whether it works or not, remains to be seen...
maxdacat
25/02/2011
1:42:37 PM
On 25/02/2011 nmonteith wrote:
>

err go nuclear?

ajfclark
25/02/2011
1:47:34 PM
For those who don't get the submarine meme, I refer you to this previous 41 page thread of fun.
maxdacat
25/02/2011
2:03:00 PM
sorry i'm a bit slow today.
kieranl
25/02/2011
2:14:26 PM
An interesting little snippet from the Coast series on SBS a couple of weeks back. The presenter was at the site of one of the first large-scale coalmines on the coast of Scotland.
Coal-mining in Britain was mostly small-scale, serving communities close to the mines until the 16th century. Then it began to be widely used for household heating and cooking because they were running out of wood.
So, we were prey to our thirst for fuel even back then. For centuries we have over-consumed our fuel resources on the basis that "something else will turn up".
It's pretty clear that we will not change our habits unless forced to do so either by the resource running out, the place becoming unliveable or the resource being priced high enough that we reduce our use of it.
gfdonc
25/02/2011
2:52:39 PM
Reading Jeff Rubin's book "Why Your World is About to Get Smaller" is a bit of an eye-opener.

One of the points he makes is that carbon taxes are misguided. They'll make production even more expensive in regulated, low-polluting countries such as Australia, the US and Europe, and help to encourage the move of even more production to high-polluting countries such as China. Hence making the problem worse on a global scale, not better.

The solution is instead to impose an import carbon tariff based on the country of origin, rather a local tax, which would have the opposite effect. But that would get the whole Free Trade lobby up in arms, wouldn't it?

Think local, act global? It's not working on this one.

ambyeok
25/02/2011
3:00:00 PM
Perhaps a different tack is required...

Think local, go postal?
Wendy
25/02/2011
3:46:51 PM
I'm very dubious about the benefits of market based systems. Sure, theoretically, people use less because it hurts the hip pocket. Can anyone else remember when petrol was sub 60c? And LPG sub 20? Do you actually drive less now that it's 1.30 and 60 ish? In reality, people will do what they perceive is necessary and bitch about paying more for it. I understand electricity prices have been going up for a while now (i haven't had a grid connection to know about them). Has the increase changed your usage habits? Mostly, those who have changed their habits have done so for reasons other than cost - ie they believe it is a necessary and good thing to reduce consumption.

For a whole bunch of reasons that I could go into if anyone really wanted me to (or you could have a look a these),
http://www.socialsolutions.com.au/pdf/Bridges.pdf http://www.socialsolutions.com.au/pdf/Frameworks%20Info.pdf
low socioeconomic groups tend to be very high consumers. Lack of money doesn't stop them spending what they have on things. Not necessarily things that you or I would consider sensible or necessary. The idea that price makes things less attractive only works with a certain view of the world. If you don't have that framework, you just buy it then work out how you'll be able to afford the next thing when it turns up (even if that next thing is the rent or dinner). If the goverment hands out money to people to compensate for increases in prices, that just means there's still more money floating around to buy things. If they actually provided compensation in the forms of energy efficient products, fuel efficient cars, solar power systems etc, then those people who wouldn't otherwise afford (or even choose to buy) these things would have access to them and the benefits of them using them would be for everyone.

It's all much simpler in my world though. Stop subsidising polluting industries. Let the realities of their much loved market sort them out properly. Move those subsidies to industries trying to do the right thing. Get even heavier handed and start prohibiting the worst practices. Then there the more complicated stuff like challenging the culture of consumption and economic growth that we are stuck in that demands all this stuff. Encourage localised provision of services and learn to live without stuff that has to be imported from Jamaica in the middle of winter. Stop thinking roads are the answer and use more public transport and put cargo on trains. Appreciate the benefits of the internet for not having to travel for meetings, or even to work. Bikes. Feet. Why do i have this very strong feeling there are so many things more effective than this carbon price?

Still, it's a start. We are struggling to get a start in this country. Cap and trade (without cash compensation) would be an even better start.

billk
25/02/2011
3:51:29 PM
On 25/02/2011 gfdonc wrote:
>Reading Jeff Rubin's book "Why Your World is About to Get Smaller" is a
>bit of an eye-opener.
>
>One of the points he makes is that carbon taxes are misguided. They'll
>make production even more expensive in regulated, low-polluting countries
>such as Australia, the US and Europe, and help to encourage the move of
>even more production to high-polluting countries such as China. Hence
>making the problem worse on a global scale, not better.
>
>The solution is instead to impose an import carbon tariff based
>on the country of origin, rather a local tax, which would have the opposite
>effect. But that would get the whole Free Trade lobby up in arms, wouldn't
>it?
>
>Think local, act global? It's not working on this one.
>

One likely feature of a less energy-intensive future would be to have less stuff shipped all over the world and more manufactured close to where it is consumed. The suggestion of a carbon tariff makes sense from that standpoint.

Declining oil reserves and resulting increasing transport costs will probably push things in that direction independently of carbon taxes or carbon tariffs.

nmonteith
25/02/2011
4:21:11 PM
On 25/02/2011 Wendy wrote:
>I'm very dubious about the benefits of market based systems. Sure, theoretically,
>people use less because it hurts the hip pocket. Can anyone else remember
>when petrol was sub 60c? And LPG sub 20? Do you actually drive less now
>that it's 1.30 and 60 ish?

Yes! I moved from Melbourne to Sydney as I couldn't afford the costs of driving to the Grampians every weekend - especially when petrol got to $2 at one stage. I also bought a diesel car. This morning I was looking at my water bill with my GF and we were discussing how to make it cheaper - by installing a new toilet and showerhead and fixing leaking taps.
maxdacat
25/02/2011
4:25:22 PM
On 25/02/2011 Wendy wrote:
Encourage
>localised provision of services and learn to live without stuff that has
>to be imported from Jamaica in the middle of winter. Stop thinking roads
>are the answer and use more public transport and put cargo on trains.
>Appreciate the benefits of the internet for not having to travel for meetings,
>or even to work. Bikes. Feet. Why do i have this very strong feeling there
>are so many things more effective than this carbon price?

Sounds like you think we should stand up for REAL ACTION.

now where have i heard that before?

JamesMc
25/02/2011
6:36:24 PM
We need a price on carbon, otherwise everyone will just generate more CO2.

Take CO2 from cars for example. In America, petrol is cheap and they have laws that limit the fuel consumption of cars. (Ie they tried to push responsiblity for saving fuel onto the car makers rather than the car users.) So what do Americans do? They buy SUVs to get around the stricter passenger car consumption limits and then they drive everywhere. In Europe where petrol is highly taxed, they buy small cars and don't drive much. Australia has moderate fuel tax so we are somewhere in between.

As for poor people not being able to reduce their emissions, I reckon that's a furphy. Cheap cars mostly use less fuel than expensive cars, simply because they're smaller.

JamesMc
Wendy
25/02/2011
7:44:07 PM
On 25/02/2011 nmonteith wrote:
>On 25/02/2011 Wendy wrote:
>>I'm very dubious about the benefits of market based systems. Sure, theoretically,
>>people use less because it hurts the hip pocket. Can anyone else remember
>>when petrol was sub 60c? And LPG sub 20? Do you actually drive less
>now
>>that it's 1.30 and 60 ish?
>
>Yes! I moved from Melbourne to Sydney as I couldn't afford the costs of
>driving to the Grampians every weekend - especially when petrol got to
>$2 at one stage. I also bought a diesel car. This morning I was looking
>at my water bill with my GF and we were discussing how to make it cheaper
>- by installing a new toilet and showerhead and fixing leaking taps.

Wow! That's the first time I've heard someone moved to Sydney because it was cheaper!

Generally speaking, i think many people are crap at budgeting and that extends to them not doing things like what you are with your water. I'm making the cynical assumption that this will continue despite the carbon price. Things like the energy audits (if you ignore the many many flaws in that process) are therefore really useful to help people see what they can do (although many probably won't follow up on lots of them because it's too much effort). Still, that program was probably only taken up by people already predisposed to doing something be it for economical or environmental reasons.

And James, I'm not saying poor people can't make changes, but there are a whole bunch of reasons why they won't, not the least being the beliefs, values, culture and attitude to money, family and possessions which are all vastly different to what we perceive as normal, but are actually really middle class ideas and beliefs. The success of a carbon tax in changing people's behaviour is completely based in middle class values and ways of being.

On the topic of the car, yes, brand new cheap cars are cheap to run. But poor people don't drive a Getz. They drive a 20+ year old falcons or commodores. The car is usually part of their identity, and no way would they be seen dead in a Getz even if they could pull $12000 out of a hat. Besides, they couldn't fit all the family, the dogs and all their mates in the Getz. I have never ever had a client or friends or family of clients in an economical car. These attitudes aren't per se bad, just different. Some people value having an efficient car. Other people value having one they can take all the important people in lives with them in it.

Those workshops are absolutely fascinating by the way. They really help to make sense of all the things that people I worked with did even though they looked completely fūcking insane choices from my end.

evanbb
25/02/2011
8:05:03 PM
I have no strong opinions on this topic at all.

Apart from this, from my idol, Tony Abbott:

When criticising the proposed emissions trading scheme last year, he said: ''If you want to put a price on carbon why not just do it with a simple tax? Why not ask motorists to pay more? Why not ask electricity consumers to pay more?''

http://www.theage.com.au/environment/garnaut-to-revise-report-on-climate-20101013-16k0w.html
TonyB
26/02/2011
7:49:36 AM
I remember arguing with people about the GST before it came in. Most people claimed the country "needed" it. They could not understand it was just another tax, without any benefit. The masses voted in a government on the basis of this new tax.

Carbon trading is even worse than a tax. It will only benefit large companies like BHP who have unviable factories with large CO2 emission that they want to move offshore. The taxpayer will now fund them to do this. IPCC's Pachauri has already scammed millions of dollars in exactly this fashion by relocating his steel mills. Our new tax will do zero for the environment. The USA has dumped it and has also dumped financial support for the IPCC because :

"My constituents should not have to continue to foot the bill for an organization to keep producing corrupt findings that can be used as justification to impose a massive new energy tax on every American."

All this on the basis of a very shonky CO2 theory that doesn't have a single shred of evidence to support it. I recently had a series of emails with Dr Kevin Trenberth, lead IPCC author, of ClimateGate infamy. I asked him what was the best evidence for man causing global warming. He replied that it was sea levels. I pointed out that sea levels have been rising for the past 8000 years, with the rate of rise slowly decreasing to the point that there has been almost no change over the past 50 years.

I pointed out to Trenberth that his mate Dr Phil Jones, the man responsible for the IPCC temperature data has admitted that there has been no temperature rise for the past 15 years. In the typical fashion of a scammer, he lied: "he didn't say that". I pointed out that Jones did indeed "say that", both to parliament and on BBC interview.

The sun has now entered solar cycle 24, which looks like being quietest since the Little Ice Age. Svalgaard's well supported theory on the magnetic solar influence on cosmic rays and on cloud seeding will soon be put to the ultimate test. It is likely that the natural causes warming over the past 300 years since the LIA, will soon end and the world will cool 2 degrees over the next 20 years ... but you can be sure we will never lose our new scammers' tax.

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